Robin Bernstein Headshot
Associate Professor
(Ph.D. • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • 2004)

HALE 364


Office Hours
MW 12:30-2, Hale 364

The overarching goal of my research program is to understand how patterns of growth and development are shaped within a lifetime and across evolutionary time. My work is laboratory - and field-based, rooted in interdisciplinary collaboration, and situated in life history and global health frameworks. In my role as a faculty director of faculty development in the Office of Faculty Affairs, I coordinate campus programs focused on faculty mentoring and leadership.

Selected open access publications (see lab website for full publication list):

Selected Publications:

Graduate Studies Information


Robin Bernstein’s research combines field and laboratory methods to investigate human growth and development, and how nutrition, disease, and environmental factors shape growth patterns in infants and children. She is particularly interested in how breast milk influences the physiological interface between mothers and infants.

Professor Bernstein is currently heading a longitudinal project investigating various factors affecting growth patterns in rural African infants, in order to better understand how and why growth failure occurs in children in low-income countries. This project includes analyses of hormonal, epigenetic, and metabolic pathways in combination with ultrasound measurements of fetal growth and alternate-day measurement of infant growth throughout the first year of life. The scope of this project is made possible through collaborations with multiple internationally-based programs in nutrition, genetics, and pediatric endocrinology.

Areas of Research

  • West Africa

Professor Bernstein is looking for graduate students with an interest in:

  • maternal and infant health
  • growth and development in infancy and childhood
  • endocrinology

Professor Bernstein welcomes inquiries from students who would like to combine field and laboratory approaches in their own work. She values diversity in education and experience and encourages inquiries from students whether or not they come from a strictly anthropological background. 

*Professor Bernstein is currently accepting Ph.D. applicants​ for Fall 2024

Learn more about Professor Bernstein's research and laboratory